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Hackers steal $48.7M in Ethereum from South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Upbit

Hot wallets are targets for hackers

South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Upbit has reported that hackers have ransacked its Ethereum ETH “hot wallet,” stealing 342,000 ETH — a cryptocurrency stash worth $48.7 million.

The attack was confirmed in a statement posted to the cryptocurrency exchange’s website by Upbit’s CEO Lee Seok-woo earlier today.

At 1:06 PM on November 27, 2019, 342,000 ETH (approximately 58 billion won) were transferred from the Upbeat Ethereum Hot Wallet to an unknown wallet,” the statement reads, before providing the apparent hacker‘s wallet address.

At pixel time, the hacker‘s wallet still contains all of the stolen Ethereum.

Upbit says it will fund the replacement of the stolen Ethereum so as to not leave any users out of pocket. It also noted it has transferred all cryptocurrencies kept in its “hot wallets” to “cold wallets,” which are more secure.

Hot wallets are software-based storage solutions for cryptocurrency, typically applications on phones or computers. Cold wallets are hardware-based  typically standalone devices kept offline while not in use to ensure they’re out of reach of internet baddies.

In the meantime, Upbit deposits and withdrawals are now reportedly suspended, and the exchange estimates that it will take at least two weeks for them to resume, so users are urged to avoid sending any cryptocurrency to the platform before they’re advised to.

Published November 27, 2019 — 09:51 UTC